To improve the survival of patients with small cell lung cancer, there is a need for new and effective agents to treat this disease. These agents include paclitaxel, docetaxel, topotecan, irinotecan, vinorelbine, gemcitabine, and amrubicin. In previously untreated small cell lung cancer patients the response rate for these effective drugs ranges from 27% to 79%. Median survival ranges from 6.6 to 12 months. The major toxicity for these agents is leukopenia. Studies are ongoing to evaluate the efficacy of combination chemotherapy using new agents either together or with other known effective drugs for the treatment of small cell lung cancer.
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